On Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, James “Jim” Spallino of Arcata joined the Lord in Heaven at the age of 82.
Jim was born on Oct. 18, 1934 in Los Angeles, Calif. to Vinchenzo “Charles” and Tonya “Jenny” Spallino. He grew up in Southern California with his brother, Frank, and sisters Anne and Susan. After high school, Jim enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and ended up stationed in San Diego. After hearing a friend talk about Humboldt State College, he decided to move to Arcata and attend upon his honorable discharge from the Coast Guard.
While earning his biology degree, Jim met the love of his life, Linda Woodruff. During their courtship, he discovered Linda shared another love of his life, hot coffee. They were married on Sept. 10, 1960, at Saint Stephen’s Catholic Church in Monterey Park, Calif.
Dad remained in Arcata the rest of his life raising two children, Kathy and Chris. Nanu, as he was often called, was considered a father figure to numerous friends and family members.
Jim worked for the County of Humboldt for over 35 years in the Department of Agriculture. He started as an Inspector, and worked his way up to Assistant Agriculture Commissioner, where he served for many years and at one point served as the Interim Agriculture Commissioner.
In addition to his professional service, dad was well known for his work with community service organizations. Over the years dad was a proud member of the Arcata Eagles Club, Humboldt Bay Kiwanis Club, St. Mary’s Italian Catholic Federation and St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus. Nanu was well known as the “cook” for many fundraisers.
An avid lover of the outdoors, dad loved to hunt, fish and camp. He referred to Humboldt County as “God’s Country.” Dad was also an exceptional artist, sculptor and woodworker. He made many dressers, toyboxes and keepsakes that he loved to give to his children and grandchildren.
Jim, Dad, Nanu, whatever you chose to call him, had a very special connection with children, especially babies. Babies loved his loving arms and deep gentle voice.
Nanu was known for his kindness and generosity, always willing to help those in need with a chore, meal or place to rest. He gave great strength with his strong hands, gentle nature, and his warm sense of humor. He was a proud American who also cherished his Italian and Russian heritage.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Charles; mother, Jenny, and much beloved brother, Frank. He is survived by his loving wife, Linda Spallino; daughter Kate (Scott) Hicks; son Chris (Nancy) Spallino; sister Anne Stark, sister Susan Bezaire, grandchildren Nicole, Ashley, Miranda, Kristen, Marissa, Anthony, Jackson, and Josh; 8 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and too many other relatives to list.
Jim’s life will be celebrated on Oct. 14, 2017 at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Arcata, California at 11 a.m. with a reception to immediately follow at the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s name to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital or UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital.
The obituary above was submitted by Jim Spallino’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.